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You don't need a New Year's resolution [Column]

The days leading to the new year we all get bombarded with text messages, Facebook statuses and phone calls from friends and family members inquiring about our infamous New Year's resolutions.

Everyone wants to know if you are making any resolutions to change your habits or behavior in the coming year and seeking to improve your lifestyle or quality of life.

It's great to want to live the best life humanly possible. It's heroic even, to dedicate your life to being the best you possibly can be, but I tend to think New Year's resolutions are among the silliest ideas ever invented.

Quite frankly, you don't need a New Year's resolution to change your life, and these lists of resolutions have been the bane of my existence for years.

First, there is the process of actually coming up with good enough ideas to make a list. You have to sit down with your pen and pad and mull for minutes, hours or days over what changes you want to make in your life.

What if I enjoy my lifestyle right now? What if I am already in the process of implementing new lifestyle changes? Do I really want to add new ones to my list just because Old Father Time is ready for a new year?

Then, there's the implementation of these resolutions.

In recent years, I have turned into a bit of a health nut. I prefer to buy my groceries organic without preservatives and my meats wild and not farm grown. I am very picky about my hair products and tend to choose items that are all-natural and not tested on animals. I've been a practicing yogi for about three years and I try to make it to the gym at least three times a week.

But a common New Year's Resolution for many people is to start going to the gym, especially after two fattening months of excessive eating and drinking at holiday functions and parties.

Like clockwork, on Jan. 1, gyms across the United States will be full of new members hoping to shed a few pounds. The will hog the treadmills, ask me a ton of questions in the middle of my set of dead lifts and fill up my weekly Zumba class at the gym.

And then, one day they will all just disappear.

I am very happy for all of the people who decided to make health a priority in 2014. But, let's be honest, how many people will continue with their new exercise regime one or even two weeks into the New Year?

How many times will you wear those Under Armour compression shirts you purchased? How many times will you lace up that new pair of hot pink Asics for your new running regime?

Instead of making broad and extremely hard to maintain New Year's resolutions, people should focus on making little lifestyle changes.

Studies show it takes about 30 days to break or make a habit. By focusing on smaller more manageable lifestyle changes, most people will be more likely to dramatically change their life in a year.

I lean toward monthly goals. At the beginning of each month I make a list of things I want work on for the next 30 days. My goals have ranged from writing one short story a week, to exercising my creative or ensuring that I visit my aging grandparents more often.

Over the years, these smaller goals have kept me from getting frustrated every year for not maintaining my New Year's resolutions. They have helped to ensure that I am always progressing and propelling my life forward at all times of the year, not just during the first few days.

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